When I get a like on a photo from a stranger then I might check their profile to see who they are and what sort of things they post, maybe liking a photo or 2 back, but that's it. You know people are generally just liking your photo because they want you to look at their page, and the more their account looks like a purely business page than a personal one the more obvious it seems.
If someone follows me, again I'll check their profile, maybe like a photo, and if it seems like they post a lot of things that I like and would be interested in then I might follow back. Again, you know there are a lot of people who are only liking your page because they want you to like theirs, and after a day or a week they'll have unfollowed you,
If someone comments I'll check again. Some obviously seem a spammy comment that are just saying something to make you look at their page, the ones who sound more genuine and might actually start a mini conversation are the ones I'm more likely to pay attention to.
If someone follows me and I'm not that interested in their photos at first, but then they follow this up by occasionally liking and commenting on my photos for weeks/months to come, meaning they really did do it because they liked my posts and not just for attention, then they're building a connection and I'm more likely to follow back and like and comment on their posts.
Continuously liking/commenting/following everything you see might work for some people (I guess it must when people suggest it so much), but I think there are a lot of people who are aware accounts just do that to get attention for themselves and will ignore it. I don't think there is a quick fix, and although it might take up a little bit more time, I think it might be better being more selective and liking and commenting on things that you do really like and fit with the style of your items so you have more chance of seeming genuine and building a connection with people.
I'm rubbish at commenting, but from the people I follow it always seems to be the ones who can start conversations in comments and be really engaging that get all the followers.